November 15, 2007

"If you're not confrontational, you're not doing your job." : Due to step down as head of the World Anti-Doping Agency at the conclusion of this week's Third World Conference on Doping in Sport, Dick Pound offers some parting remarks in the Telegraph.

posted by lil_brown_bat to other at 08:00 AM - 12 comments

Pound has done more for sports than all the Olympics winners combined and been criticised for his monumental efforts. Were losing a watch dog that will not be replaced and the sport will be worst for it.

posted by brickman at 08:58 AM on November 15, 2007

Dick. Pound. I don't care how old you are, that's funny.

posted by jp3234 at 11:37 AM on November 15, 2007

Dammit, jp, you beat me to it. I'm 12.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:03 PM on November 15, 2007

Good riddance. He deserves the criticism. Ever since he got burned by Ben Johnson he's assumed every athlete was guilty until proven innocent. A very bad mentality if you are interested in justice. A great mentality if you want to lead a witch hunt, which he did. A better named man there has not been.

posted by apoch at 01:35 PM on November 15, 2007

On one hand, he built WADA from scratch, putting together an international organization for enforcing anti-doping in a wide range of sports. But on the other, he subsequently undermined what he built by his outrageous statements to the press, often well before the data had been produced to determine if an athlete was guilty. He created the atmosphere in which athletes are considered guilty and are convicted in the press without any due process, courtesy of leaks from WADA laboratories. Frankly, I think he has done more damage to anti-doping efforts than he has good, especially in the last 5 years. I certainly hope he is not appointed to the CAS! Given his past public comment on a number of cases, it would be hard to view the CAS as unbiased if he were part of it.

posted by BikeNut at 02:05 PM on November 15, 2007

I agree with apoch. I did not know about his involvement with Ben Johnson at least I am not remembering hearing about it before. It almost sounds like while he was in charge he had a personal stake in it. He led a good witch hunt but I really don't think much justice was served. What is known about John Fahey, the man who is going to take his place? Will the witch hunt continue with guilty being said and the accused must bring evidence to prove innocence or will Fahey have to show evidence to prove guilt while they are considered innocent?

posted by skydivemom at 02:19 PM on November 15, 2007

Here's another perspective on the Pound legacy, from Rant Your Head Off.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:31 PM on November 15, 2007

What is known about John Fahey, the man who is going to take his place? He's an ex professional Rugby League player, State and Federal Government Minister here in Australia (on the conservative side, but not a crazy), and was part of organising the Sydney Olympics*. His style may be less confrontational, but Australia has the strictest anti-doping policy in the world, and I would expect no let up on the technical side/testing regime, or any major changing of the penalties. *Best. Olympics. Ever. According to Juan Antonio Samaranch, anyway. And if you can't trust one of Franco's henchmen, who can you trust?

posted by owlhouse at 03:33 PM on November 15, 2007

I think it's obvious that the existence of WADA is a very good thing -- when it comes to exposing cheating, the International Federations and the National Olympic Committees proved that they could not be trusted to expose the cheaters that they had so much invested in. The creation of WADA and the WADA Code is a critical first step in making sure that anti-doping enforcement is uniform across countries and sports. Since Pound played a critical role in creating WADA and getting it off the ground, you've got to say that he's been a major positive force. I have been critical of Pound's public statements in the past and I don't agree with all points of his philosophy. But the rant lbb linked to is a bit off the mark on some topics, too. For example: "Dick Pound may be a part of the reason that doping is much discussed by sports journalists, fans and bloggers, but he is only a small part. But the biggest reason that doping is discussed so much is that so many more scandals are reported these days, rather than quietly covered up or brushed aside." The reason it's so much harder to cover these things up or brush them aside is because of the existence of WADA, which has no particular interest in the earning power or the attraction of star athletes.

posted by Amateur at 06:50 PM on November 15, 2007

We discussed Dick Pound previously. The article I linked to gives a good history of how the man became the Anti-Doping Crusader.

posted by apoch at 06:58 PM on November 15, 2007

And now there may (or may not) be another candidate for the job.

posted by Amateur at 11:39 AM on November 16, 2007

And now there may (or may not) be another candidate for the job. Wow. That looks like an absolutely lovely internal shitfight in the making.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:23 PM on November 16, 2007

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